Guatemala currently has three HIV therapy treatment plans, based on standards and recommendations by the WHO (World Health Organization), and each line needs a different antiretroviral combination. Beyond third line, there is no treatment available in Guatemala.
Three months of shortage will cause a virus mutation, requiring a treatment plan change to treat it. Some opportunistic infections such as tuberculosis, histoplasmosis, or toxoplasmosis may arise during this period.
The most recent study on patients and treatment plans is the Guatemalan Guide for Antiretroviral and Opportunistic Infections Treatment, released in 2013. According to this guide, 92% of people who live with HIV and get their treatment by the Ministry of Public Health and Social Assistance (MSPAS), are on first line, 7% of patients are on second line, and the remaining 1% is on third line.
Guatemala is one of the countries with the most cocktail medications available, in the 2015-18 period there are up to 65 different combinations.
In 2017, the number of tablets each patient had to take began to decrease significantly, as pharmaceutical companies started to transition from single to compound formulas. For example, different combinations with Didanosina (DDI) are replaced by Lamivudine/Zidovudine or Abacavir/Lamivudine combined into a single daily tablet, depending on clinical judgment.
Another Capsule of combined medicines example is the Atripla, which contains Tenofovir, Emtricitabine and Efavirenz, according to the Health Ministry’s public procurement system, based on purchases to the Global Fund, PAHO and other clinical labs.
Each year 1,700 people are diagnosed HIV positive, yet only 700 continue treatment. Divided by population segment, people treated by the Health Ministry are distributed in the following way: 2,678 men who have intercourse with men, 119 non-binary people, 6,241 women, 85 pregnant women, 6,506 men and 638 children.
Approximately 46,000 people in Guatemala live with AIDS. 38,000 were diagnosed by MSPAS, almost 17,000 are treated by the ministry itself and 3,000 more are treated by the Guatemalan Institute of Social Security, the Ministry of Defense, or the San José Hospice.